Methods for Policy Research and Evaluation
This course will introduce students to quantitative and qualitative methods for studying social policy problems. Topics to be covered include case study methods, sampling, survey techniques, simple and multiple regression, and experimental methodologies. The emphasis will be on the practical application of these models, rather than with formal proofs. Students will critically analyze selected research in a range of policy areas and skills will be reinforced by hands-on exercises using statistical software. The overall goal is that students become adept at selecting and applying the appropriate methodology for addressing a specific policy question, and at critically evaluating conference papers and policy reports. 3 credits.
Social Policy Writing Workshop
In this seminar, students will learn how to communicate effectively in the public policy world. Students will summarize and critically evaluate technical and non-technical writing; complete writing assignments including policy briefs, op-eds, and grant proposals; and give oral presentations and speeches designed to appeal to different audiences. 3 credits.
Making American Social Policy
This course will examine American social policy in comparative perspective. Special attention will be paid to issues of poverty and inequality and their relation to the political system. 3 credits.
Poverty and Public Policy
This course will examine the causes and consequences of U.S. poverty and explore strategies for addressing it, with some comparisons to other rich nations. We cover the major theoretical explanations scholars have advanced to explain the persistence of poverty and inequality including labor markets, residential segregation, welfare policy, family structure, and the criminal justice system. Within each topic area, students are introduced to contemporary policy approaches aimed at alleviating poverty, and evaluations of these approaches. 3 credits.
Baltimore as an Urban Laboratory
This course will bring outside speakers drawn from elected officials, representatives of city government, community leaders, and non-profit organizations in Baltimore into a seminar format to elaborate upon social policy challenges facing Baltimore and to illustrate how scholarship and research are used in government and in policy making to address those challenges. 3 credits.